Vol 3 Section 0141

1897                                                                              97

Chauncey Depew of the great New England dinner nights of some years ago; he has Depew’s charm of manner and graces of language and delivery [Note: written Dec. 9, 1897].

The ledger books of Chatto & Windus show that on Oct. 28, 1897, the first 1,500 copies of the 3s.6d.

P&P were printed [Welland 235].

October 29 Friday

October 30 Saturday

October 31 SundaySam spoke at the Concordia Press Club in Vienna. Dolmetsch on the event:

The meeting took place…on Sunday night, October 31, beginning at eight o’clock in the great hall of the Merchant’s Association (Kaufmännische Verein) in Johannesgasse, one of the most spacious of Vienna’s many ballrooms. It was billed as a Festkneipe, a term that is now obsolete and for which there is no English equivalent but denoting a sort of stag party or festive evening of libations and conviviality rather than a banquet with formal after-dinner speeches. Founded in 1859, the Concordia had 348 members in 1897 (it has 337 today), and on such occasions members were permitted to bring guests, which many did to hear and even meet “unser berühmter Gast” (our famous guest).

Every paper represented in the Concordia…covered “Die Mark Twain-Kneipe” at length. … The hall had been sumptuously decorated by Gilbert Lehner….He garlanded the room with red-white-blue

bunting. The back wall displayed the Stars and Stripes, the front a large portrait of the author by Lehner’s son above a banner with the motto of the United States, “e pluribus unum.” Beneath this the speakers’ platform was bedecked with … “a grove of palms and flowers.”

Mark Twain had the seat of honor at center stage while on his right at the head table sat Concordia President Gross; Edgar von Spiegl, publisher-editor of the Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt, who had organized the evening’s program; the United States minister, Charlemagne Tower; General Consul Bailey Hurst; and representatives of both the imperial government and the city council [41-2].

Note: see the speech in its entirety in Dolmetsch, Appendix A, p. 315-17. Dolmetsch lists many others in attendance, including musicians, actors, opera stars, publishers, writers, literati, and the foreign press corps, headed by William S. Lavino of the London Times. Among the notables: Gustav Mahler, Felix Salten (author of Bambi), Theodor Herzl (father of the Zionist movement), and of course Eduard Pötzl. Dolmetsch gives Bettina Wirth, and British correspondent Amelia S. Levetus as gallery spectators (women were not allowed in the all-male club itself) [46]. Fatout calls the Concordia “socialistic,” and this event “a jamboree in a beer hall…a noisy affair of boisterous camaraderie, drinking songs, and the banging of steins” and gives the speech in both German and English [MT Speaking 314].

Sam’s notebook: “Entertained by the Concordia…Made a speech in German [NB 42 TS 47].

Paine also writes of the occasion:

At 9 o’clock Mark Twain appeared in the salon, and amid a storm of applause took his seat at the head of the table. His characteristic shaggy and flowing mane of hair adorning a youthful countenance attracted the attention at once of all present. After a few formal convivial commonplaces the president of Concordia, Mr. Ferdinand Gross, delivered an excellent address in English, which he would up with a few German sentences. Then Mr. Tower was heard….Then followed the greatest attraction of the evening, an

impromptu speech by Mark Twain in the German language, which it is true he has not fully mastered….

He had entitled his speech, “Die Schrecken der Deutschen Sprache” (the terrors of the German language). At times he would interrupt himself in English and ask, with a stuttering smile, “How do you call this word in German” or “I only know the mother-tongue.” The Festkneipe lasted far into the morning hours [MTB 1049].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.